THE APPEAL of social media is largely its inclusivity. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, anyone with a smartphone can open an account free of charge and start posting immediately. However, this isn’t what ‘Rich Kids’ is all about.
Launched recently, Rich Kids is the self-proclaimed “world’s most exclusive social network”—and it certainly lives up to this claim. Unlike regular social networks, the website aspires to offer the well-off a platform unspoiled by the sight of poverty by taxing its users for the right to post.
While you can sign up for the service for free with your Facebook account, the only users that can actually share content on the app are the ones willing to pay a hefty membership of $1,000 each month. Even if you had that kind of money, why would you want to pay? As per Rich Kids, the inclusivity offered by social networks like Instagram is ultimately making it difficult for the wealthy to ‘stand out’ from the rest of the crowd. Instead, Rich Kids promises to get the affluent the shine they ‘deserve’ by making its platform virtually unaffordable to anyone else.
“You will gain new followers that could never find you among the millions of users on Instagram. Enjoy the exclusive attention you deserve,” the website says. The high payment charges are for maintaining the quality and exclusivity of the wealthy members. The son of renowned fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, Robert Cavalli, is one of the first members of the app alongside Turkish real estate empire heir Emir Bahadir and Ukrainian socialite Julia Stakhiva.
This is not to say that the poor won’t be able to peek at the barrage of opulence shared by Rich Kids premium members—they just won’t be allowed to post photos from their own lives. Interestingly, the owners of the site would like to make the site appear a bit noble by invoking charity into its platform. A per its website, a third of the membership proceeds will go to charity, ‘helping kids living in poverty to study’. “With proper education, they have a chance for a better life,” it added. The app is only available on Apple’s App Store, but it’s going be interesting to see who among the flashy are going to jump on to this golden bandwagon.
This is not really a new idea. In 2014, someone tried to make a $9,000-’Facebook for Rich People’ happen. Social1000 tried the same thing in 2008 and let’s not forget the I Am Rich app. It was described as “a work of art with no hidden function at all”, with its only purpose being to show other people that you were able to afford it. I Am Rich was sold on the App Store for $999.99, the highest price Apple allows for App Store content. The application was removed by Apple without explanation the day following its release on August 6, 2008.